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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

A Thank-You Note to Winter Storm Jonas

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Dear Jonas –

I was mad at you on Thursday. You see, your predecessor prompted school to release early on Wednesday without much prior warning. The resulting exhaustion from trying to convince excited kids to engage in math instruction and stress from reworking lesson plans had me a bit raw.

And then you showed up. And it was unclear if you were a serious threat or a mere annoyance for Atlanta. And I don’t like uncertainty.

My blood pressure was elevated Thursday night as I obsessively refreshed the website listing school closures. I planned and replanned lessons in my head for every forseeable situation – normal school, half-day with these periods, half-day with those periods and no school but online learning. All with the goal of trying to stay on schedule for the planned test day.

Eventually, I collapsed into a fitful sleep while still awaiting news. The anxious planning followed me into my sleep and caused me to awake just after three.

Apparently the powers-that-be had decided that you were threatening enough that the children should be kept inside. I immediately went to my computer and spent the next hour writing and posting my online lessons.

And once I was done, the anxiety was done as well.

The unknown was now known.

Friday passed without incident. I enjoyed a morning treadmill run before my office hours. I indulged in a weekday lunch with my husband at our favorite Indian buffet. I relished the individual attention I could give to students without interruption via various forms of electronic communication. And I was appreciative that I didn’t have to navigate the streets as the temperature continued to drop.

I awoke Saturday morning to a light coating of ice and snow on the world, the frosting on the cake. The roads were largely unaffected so I merely postponed my grocery run until full daylight.

And that’s when it happened.

The snow, stopped since before I woke up, began to fall in earnest. Whipped by the wind into great swaths of ever-changing forms. I was driving down the road surrounded by the most graceful and fluid dancers, who followed me all the way to the store.

Breath-taking beauty.

So Jonas, thank you. Thank you for that moment that reminded me to be in the moment. Thank you for the lesson about releasing my need to control (I’m afraid I’ll probably need more – I’m in the remedial group on that one!). Thank you for the reminder that my worries easily grow too big for their britches and that I can trust myself to perform even without an abundance of rehearsal.

And thank you for having a bark that’s worse than your bite in Georgia. I enjoyed the snow and I’m glad it’s now gone. As for what you’ve done further north, I doubt you’ll be getting thank-you letters from them. Except maybe from the kids who are getting out of math class:)


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